Is the Family Research Council a “Hate Group?”

8-25-12 – Edit – Here is a helpful link explaining why some view the Family research council as a hate group – here.  It was posted in the comments below and it gives a needed counterbalance to the article I linked to below in my original post.  It was very helpful for me to read to learn more about the group.  I’m still not sure I want to call them a “hate group.”  But I will say this.  I am deeply disturbed and troubled and angered by their views, their shoddy research methods, and offensive claims.  In many ways they are damaging the reputation of Christians for the rest of us.

 

Original Post –

I’ve been accused at least once since joining the blogging world of sharing research from “known hate groups” and so therefore what I said about the research wasn’t really listened to or taken into account.

One of the groups that is known by non-Christians as a hate group is the “Family Research Council.”   I didn’t know much about this group at all.  But now, I’ve done a bit of research.  I know I have quite a bit of differences with them, in my tendencies, goals, doctrine, and practice.   But I see no reason to call them a “hate group.”  Groups like this believe homosexual behavior is wrong, but they do not hate homosexuals, and do not think of homosexuals as inferior people.  I don’t see how they can be considered a hate group anymore than a group could be considered a hate group for thinking gambling was wrong, or for thinking it’s wrong to watch R-rated movies.  It doesn’t matter the issue.  To believe some practice is wrong is not the same as hating people.

This false labeling really bothers me because it shuts down rational discussion, in a similar way to how a few people completely ignore anything I have to say because of my faith stance.

 

In light of this, I found this article – Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’? – which is very helpful and detailed in explaining why this organization was labeled a “hate group” and a clear explanation of why it should not be considered such.  I’m posting this not because I necessarily agree with everything in this article, but mainly just to give another perspective and to support why I don’t think groups like this should be labeled “hate groups.”

Incidentally, the article talks about some of the research findings from the Family Research Council about homosexuality.  They are interesting to me.  I’d love to hear more about the truth or error of those studies if anyone has any good resources to share.

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7 comments on “Is the Family Research Council a “Hate Group?”

  1. Eric says:

    First, the FRC was labeled a hate group, not the church. I find it very arrogant of them to claim that they have the only correct doctrine. Based on what the FRC tells people, I reluctantly have to say yes they are a hate group. Their conflation of pedophilia and homosexuality is very dangerous and harmful. Plus I saw nothing from them that indicates any sort of compassion towards homosexuals.

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  2. thorin25 says:

    Eric, I’m sure you know more about them than I. But I want to be very hesitant in labeling an organization a hate group. They might have some deeply mixed up views about pedophilia and about homosexuality, but again I’m not sure how that qualifies them to be a hate group. And further, even if they lack the kind of Christian compassion we think they should have, that also does not make them a hate group. What specifically are you thinking of that makes you think they should be qualified as such? If you have any good articles about them for me to read, that would help, or just let me know what you have heard them say that you would qualify.

    I’m not trying to go out of my way to defend this group. I have quite different views than they do. I think a lot of what they say is troubling. But, I think the tendency in our culture is to label Christians as hateful and bigoted, just because they have opinions about moral issues that seem offensive to the culture.

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  3. Eric says:

    I’m also hesitant to label them a hate group. In the past I’ve agreed with almost everything Focus on the Family and FRC has stated. As I’ve taken a closer look, the FRC deliberately ignores the scientific world and gets all of its data from a few in house scientists. The SLPC stated that its not the biblical views of FRC that it finds objectionable.. It’s the falsification of data and the deliberate spread of mistruths.

    FRC is focused on winning the culture war. To do that, they can’t use “the Bible says homosexuality is wrong”. Instead they need to come up with other reasons. FRC could attack promiscuity, sexual assault, and pedophilia very easily (would anyone contest the last 2?). Instead they try to say homosexuals do those more, so homosexuals as a group are bad. Gay marriage is a valid non-religious solution attempt for gay promiscuity. But FRC doesn’t care what is best for gay people. They care about using them as a target to win a culture war that I don’t think they should be in.

    For contrast, look at Exodus International. They are a Christian group with a focus on reaching out to homosexuals. They actually interact with them as counselors and try to help them find the best Biblical solution for their life.

    Here’s one link:http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/family-research-council I can dig up more. One point I find particularly troubling is that FRC uses the gender of pedophilia victims to determine the attacker’s orientation. This is contrary to the science. For instance, Sandusky was married to a woman and attacked boys. social scientists would classify him as a hetrosexual pedophile because he was attracted to adult women and prepubescent children. FRC would count him as either bisexual or homosexual despite him never having a sexual relationship with any man.

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  4. thorin25 says:

    Totally agreed with you that they are out to win a culture war. That is something I hugely differ with them on.

    As far as the link between pedophilia and homosexuality, I’m pretty ignorant. But my intuition is that some sin and crossing of boundaries sexually leads to more crossing of sexual boundaries, and so I’m not surprised that there could be a link. See my talk about my own fluid sexuality in my post about addiction to crossdressing fiction.

    Your link is interesting. Clearly as you can tell from my own posts, I would strongly disagree with much of what they say. But even if they do draw on junk science and ignore better research (which is an unChristian thing to do), again I would say that doesn’t qualify them as a “hate group” anymore than when secular scientists ignore Christian scientists and their work. But I guess I can only say that to a certain point……

    This other link seems to explain the issue better – http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/the-hard-liners They say you don’t qualify as a hate group just by thinking homosexuality is unbiblical, but if you make claims that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities, and repeated name-calling. That makes some sense, and seems to be what you are saying as well Eric. Perhaps there are some groups I would eventually be willing to call “hate groups” for doing those things, and perhaps I might even be willing to call the FRC such, but I want to do some more reading…..

    But the problem is that scientific research comes with bias, and not all scientists agree. The bulk of scientists also believe that humans came about from apes. For a Christian organization to believe different, does that make them a “hate group?” It’s a complicated issue.

    My issue is that while groups like the family research council clearly need to work on doing better research and do less name calling, people on the other side are falling into exactly the same trap. They are ignoring any research groups like this do, and then do tons of name calling labeling them a hate group and ignoring everything they say. I think that’s kind of hypocritical.

    For myself I have strong issues with groups like the family research council, and the more you, Eric, teach me about them, the more I dislike them and take issue with them, but it still seems like this labeling of “hate groups” is highly subjective based on the judges’ scientific views and religious views.

    Anyway, thanks for the links. I’ll keep reading and learning more about these things. Glad we can be in dialogue, so that I can keep learning more of the truth.

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  5. Ralph says:

    I know that specific spokesmen for FRC have some serious hate issues: Peter Sprigg wants to criminalize homosexual behavior and “export” gays; Tony Perkins (no relation to Norman Bates) thinks the Ugandan law promoting the death penalty for homosexuality upholds biblical values. Do they represent the FRC’s official policy? Well, they still speak for the FRC… draw your own conclusions.

    This is another area where middle ground is apparently not allowed. You must either believe homosexuality is a crime worthy of the worst punishments and expulsion from the church, or you must embrace homosexuality as a natural or even desirable way of life. So in general, I have a big problem with any organization that demonizes just one of many sins while ignoring all the others grouped into the same category — Would Sprigg also want to imprison those who get drunk, boast, lie, covet, divorce, etc.? If not then he is a hypocrite and he is absolutely guilty of violating the most important command we were given: To love, even our enemies and sinners. We can do that without promoting or encouraging what they do, just as I hope others do for me.

    Make no mistake, I *do* believe that homosexuality is a sin — along with all those others I mentioned and many, many more that all of us are guilty of at one time or another. But oddly it seems that Jesus never told us to imprison nor “export” (where???) the homosexuals. Once I get this beam out of my own eye, I’ll worry about what else we’re supposed to do with those who have specks in their eye besides love them.

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  6. thorin25 says:

    Yes Ralph, that is deeply troubling. I think a lot of these right wing Christians are more worried about our country than their own personal piety or the purity of the church. They see homosexuality as the modern blight on the land, and make it out to be the worst evil imaginable, and isolate it out from other problematic sins. Your comments about what some of the people at FRC have said, those statements are deeply problematic and should be called out as false by the rest of the Church. Still not sure how I feel about labeling them a hate group. But the more you guys are telling me the more I find them wrong in many ways, and in need of stern correction by other Christians.

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  7. thorin25 says:

    original post edited, take a look.

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